In the vein of Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits, Black Mirror has a unique theme that every one of its six episodes over three seasons deals with. If I can put this theme into my own words, Black Mirror is about the ever-expanding uses of technology, as well as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" approach to storytelling. Much like Twilight Zone worked towards poetic justice and Night Gallery was about gothic horror, Black Mirror tells stories about protagonists who are in lose-lose situations, all based around science fiction trappings focusing on new technologies or futures where we take technology to a new step. The "black mirror" of the title of the show itself is a reference to a broken smart phone, which now is just that, just a black mirror. Charlie Brooker, the series creator and writer of almost every episode, likes to call the show "techno-paranoia," which I think is a LITTLE bit of an overstatement, since paranoia does not actually factor into most episodes, in my opinion anyway. But hey, he did make the show, and I do think it is (mostly) great, so what do I know?
The show is pretty phenomenal. It is currently on Netflix and has been able to cover in six episodes a lot of crazy topics, though the two seasons each featured an episode on each of the following types: a political narrative, an alternate future societal story, and a single relationship changed by a new technology. On top of that, each episode has a great budget with some fantastic actors, including Jason Fleming, Daniel Kaluuya, Rory Kinnear, Toby Kebbell, Domhnall Gleeson, and so many more, though I did list my favorites right then.
Of the six episodes, I loved the first four completely. The last two ... they aren't bad or anything, they just personally didn't do much for me. But the quality of the first four absolutely make up for that. My favorite is the third episode of the first series, "The Entire History of You." I found it amazing in a show I was already blown away by. I really cannot wait for more. Speaking of ...
How is Black Mirror Christmas related? I mean, I should be reviewing Scrooge (it's coming) or some other stuff that is holiday themed, right? Well, you see, a special Christmas episode will be coming out THIS EVENING! It is not often I am able to talk about things that are cool, new, exciting, on Netflix, and also advertise for a brand new special, let alone a Christmas one! Let alone a Christmas one that stars Jon Hamm! I implore you, find some way to watch this episode on Channel 4 if you live across the pond, or see if you can watch it online if they show it there folks in America or Russia or Canada or wherever. And watch the other episodes. They are not easy to watch, absolutely are R in rating, and are glorious.
Oh, let me sum up with a quick grade for each episode:
The National Anthem: A++
Fifteen Million Merits: A++
The Entire History of You: A++
Be Right Back: A++
White Bear: B
The Waldo Moment: B